Krista Harris' "Bluebird"


Town’s top gallery opens the summer season with group show of abstract art, through June 24.

Krista Harris' "Bluebird"

Krista Harris’ “Bluebird”

Susan Sales built her considerable reputation on color field paintings. Eliminating figure and ground in favor of color and form, she forced a focus on paint, color, surface, texture, and gesture, creating near landscapes that “feature” the viewer in the mirror created by glossy, lacquer-like veneers that both contain and protect the raw emotions she paints on to her canvasses.

Sales, Gordon Brown, Rebecca Crowell, Mark English, Shawna Moore, Emmi Whitehorse are regulars in Will Thompson’s stable at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. They are joined by Ahh Haa school founder Daniel Tucker and Krista Harris for the launch of the summer season with a group show of abstract art. The opening, which takes place Thursday, June 6, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and  coincides with Telluride Arts First Thursday Art Walk, a stroll about about town to view the latest and greatest from the region’s (and beyond) creative talents and interact with locals and guests. Several of the artists will be in attendance.

In the second decade of the 20th century, on the heels of Cubism and other detours from dusty old realism, abstraction became the “ism” du jour and the Holy Grail of modern art. By the time the center of gravity in the art world shifted from Paris to New York, just after World War II, abstraction came to wear number of different hats unified under the banner of Abstract Expressionism.

Daniel Tucker's "Roses"

Daniel Tucker’s “Roses”

AbEx was a loose confederation of artists. In part, the movement, really a catchall for a disparate American artists who revered primitive myths, became all about celebrating the physical act of painting, gesture alone, in the work of artists such as Jackson Pollack, with his tangled up, gestural skeins. On the other end of the spectrum, it was about transcendence and archetypes, represented by artists such as Mark Rothko, whose luminous blurs of paint were as close as it gets to an awe-inspiring atmosphere of spirituality.

In her artist’s statement, Krista Harris acknowledges her roots in the AbEx tradition. Elegantly composed and delicately balanced, shapes and lines in her work appear to morph in and out of focus; colors shift like seasons. But below the surface, barely visible, her long-term history in figurative and landscape images and a love of drawing quietly but definitely assert themselves – which makes sense since Krista’s move into the non-objective world, with its emphasis on essence versus surface appearance, is relatively recent, beginning in 2006.

To learn more about the artist and her work, click the “play” button and listen to our chat.

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